In a role made famous by Morgan Freeman, Tyler Perry takes over the character of Alex Cross. "Alex Cross" is based on a character created by writer James Patterson. Freeman played the character previously in "Kiss the Girls" and "Along Came a Spider". This movie is a prequel to the prior films. In "Alex Cross", Cross is a homicide detective, not yet an FBI agent. His career has yet to take off and that is somewhat the premise of the film.
When a hitman's mark is left in a fancy neighborhood, tied to a bed and violently tortured, Cross is awoken in the middle of the night to investigate. There is pressure to clean up the case, being so high profile, but quickly Cross discovers that this will be no ordinary case. He has a keen eye, better than most, and his investigation leads him onto the trail of a single man who had the skill to take out three bodyguards and still eliminate his target.
"Alex Cross" is a mixed bag and will leave a mixed opinion with its audience. The script is interesting. It's always moving and there are many twists and turns. It focuses ample time on the personal connections, as well as the action. For the most part, the actions scenes are well done, especially one that occurs in a high-rise corporate building where they are saddled with the protection of a target in a safe room and are dealing with a skilled assassin. Then there are some scenes that are poorly handled with not just a shaky camera, but a frantically shaky camera. Whether it's the case or not, shaky cameras, in my opinion, are used to cover up actors who aren't good fight actors. This camera was shaking so much, the actors must have been supremely awful.
I couldn't help thinking as the movie played out, that the material was better than the talent on screen and behind the camera. With the exception of Matthew Fox, the acting was lukewarm at best, and even Fox has his moments of over-the-top selling of his craziness. Lines were delivered at times with flair without justification. Perry, at one point, in an effort to be dramatic explaining the suspect they seek to his partners, turns and seems to go off to a distant place. It was disappointing to watch. I had hope that the movie would be better and that Tyler Perry would do well. In fairness, sometimes actors are given a bad rap because the directors don't do enough takes or aren't vigilant enough.
"Alex Cross" is another one of those movies that I wish would have been better. I wanted to love it and the story deserved it. Unfortunately though, the direction of the film was lackluster. Some things that should have been left for the audience to figure out were fleshed out in a short two-minute and highly unrealistic scene. After watching a film that was disappointedly acted and then enduring a hard to watch shaky camera, it was the final straw. It's too bad because "Alex Cross" had a great story and had its moments, but the best part about the movie was its trailer.